Document Type


Publication Date



School of Medicine




Photoreceptor cells are specialized neurons with a sensory cilium carrying an elaborate membrane structure, the outer segment (OS). Inherited mutations in genes involved in ciliogenesis frequently result in OS malformation and blindness. ADP-ribosylation factor-like 2 (ARL2) has recently been implicated in OS formation through its association with Binder of ARL2 (BART or ARL2BP), a protein linked to inherited blinding disease. To test the role of ARL2 in vision we created a transgenic mouse model expressing a tagged-dominant active form of human ARL2 (ARL2-Q70L) under a rod-specific promoter. Transgenic ARL2-Q70L animals exhibit reduced photoreceptor cell function as early as post-natal day 16 and progressive rod degeneration. We attribute loss of photoreceptor function to the defective OS morphogenesis in the ARL2-Q70L transgenic model. ARL2-Q70L expression results in shortened inner and outer segments, shortened and mislocalized axonemes and cytoplasmic accumulation of rhodopsin. In conclusion, we show that ARL2-Q70L is crucial for photoreceptor neuron sensory cilium development. Future research will expand upon our hypothesis that ARL2-Q70L mutant interferes with microtubule maintenance and tubulin regulation resulting in impaired growth of the axoneme and elaboration of the photoreceptor outer segment.

Source Citation

Wright, Z. C., Loskutov, Y., Murphy, D., Stoilov, P., Pugacheva, E., Goldberg, A. F. X., & Ramamurthy, V. (2018). ADP-Ribosylation Factor-Like 2 (ARL2) regulates cilia stability and development of outer segments in rod photoreceptor neurons. Scientific Reports, 8(1).


Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Cre- ative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not per- mitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit

© The Author(s) 2018



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.